Transverse coloplasty pouch and colonic J-pouch for rectal cancer—a comparative study

J M Pimentel, A Duarte, C Gregório, P Souto, J Patrício
Colorectal Disease 2003, 5 (5): 465-70

OBJECTIVES: The introduction of the colonic J-pouch has markedly improved the functional outcome of restorative rectal cancer surgery. However colonic J-pouch surgery can be problematic and may present some late evacuatory problems. To overcome these limitations a novel pouch has been proposed: the transverse coloplasty pouch. The purpose of our study was to compare the functional outcomes of these two different types of pouches--the transverse coloplasty pouch (TCP) and the colonic J-pouch (CJP)--during the first 12 months postoperatively.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: A prospective randomized trial was conducted in which a total of 30 patients with mid and low rectal cancer were submitted either to a transverse coloplasty pouch or a colonic J-pouch. Clinical defaecatory function was assessed and anorectal physiological assessment was carried out, pre-operatively and at 3, 6 and 12 months postoperatively, by means of a standard clinical questionnaire and by anorectal manometry.

RESULTS: No statistically significant differences were found between the two groups regarding bowel function. The postoperative frequency of daily bowel movements was lower in the TCP group in all the phases of the study (3.9 vs. 4.1 at 3 months; 3.1 vs. 3.4 at 6 months; 2.1 vs. 2.8 at 12 months), the same occurring with fragmentation (33% vs. 40% at 3 months; 26.6%vs. 33.3% at 6 months; 7.1%vs. 14.3% at 12 months). Less urgency was also seen in the TCP group during the first 6 months (20%vs. 26.7%), with identical values at 12 months (14.3% vs. 14.3%). No significant differences were also found concerning incontinence grading and scoring, with TCP patients having less nocturnal leaks. At one year two CJP patients (14.3%) needed the use of enemas to evacuate the pouch and provoke defaecation, a problem never seen in TCP patients. The anorectal manometry data was similar in both types of pouches. The local complication rates were also identical in the two groups (20%); more anastomotic leaks were seen in TCP patients (13.2% vs. 6.6%), without reaching a statistical significance.

CONCLUSION: The transverse coloplasty pouch has similar functional results but fewer evacuation problems than the J-Pouch, making it a safe and reliable alternative to the colonic J-pouch.

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